Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

Fresh AIRmore posts rss

Israeli strategic experts to speak in Melbourne, Sydney

Israeli strategic experts to speak in Melbourne, Sydney Categories: Events, Media Releases    

AIJAC, in partnership with its co-sponsors, is proud to present three Israeli strategic experts in Melbourne and Sydney:

EHUD YA'ARI - Influential foreign affairs analyst, veteran Middle East commentator for Israel's Channel 2 news

PROF. EFRAIM INBAR - Professor of Political Studies and Director of the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Centre for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University, Israel

MAJ.-GEN. YA'AKOV AMIDROR - Distinguished IDF veteran and a former national security adviser to Israeli PM Netanyahu

Print edition

Noted and Quoted - October 2016 Categories: Australasia, Israel, Media/ Academia, Middle East    

That an Algerian goal ball team forfeited a match at the Rio Paralympics, apparently to avoid playing their Israeli counterparts, was widely reported by the Australian media.

But the far more newsworthy postponement of scheduled Palestinian municipal elections by the Palestinian Supreme Court on Sept. 9 - amid doubts that the poll, the first time since 2006 the entire Palestinian polity was going to vote, will ever take place - has been almost completely ignored across the Australian media.

Behind the News - October 2016

Behind the News - October 2016 Categories: Iran, Israel, Palestinians, Russia, Syria    

The explosion of a SpaceX rocket in Florida destroyed an advanced communications satellite developed in Israel, throwing the Israeli satellite industry into crisis.

Worth between US $200-300 million, the Amos-6 satellite was the most sophisticated built in Israel's history and had been leased by Facebook to expand internet access across parts of Africa.

Media Microscope: Tripping up Author: Allon Lee Categories: Australasia, Media/ Academia    

The controversy over Labor Senator Sam Dastyari's acceptance of money from people with links to the Chinese Communist party (and allegations that this may have influenced his stance on China) saw the issue of federal Australian MPs taking study tours to Israel become a topic of debate.

Much of the discussion was focused on the incorrect assertion that the Israeli Government funds study tours for federal MPs to Israel. These study tours for federal MPs are not funded by the Israeli government or Israeli companies, but solely by Australian donors.

Saturday Fight Fever
Embattled Transport Minister Yisrael Katz (left) with PM Netanyahu: Sabbath issue brought rivalry to a head

Saturday Fight Fever Author: Amotz Asa-El Categories: Israel    

The Sabbath day, a hallmark of the Jewish state and one of Judaism's most celebrated contributions to civilisation, is stirring Israeli politics again.

Compelled to insert a pair of 60-metre-long steel structures into Tel Aviv's busiest train station as part of the preparations to electrify the new railroad to Jerusalem, Israel Railways figured the best way to minimise disruption of traffic was to perform the work on the Sabbath, when public transport is idle and private traffic sharply declines. 

A blow to Palestinian unity hopes - and to Abbas
Abbas: Election postponement another blow to his credibility

A blow to Palestinian unity hopes - and to Abbas Author: Ben Lynfield Categories: Palestinians    

Just a month ago, the municipal elections that were slated to be held in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on October 8 were cause for rare optimism amid the bleak landscape of Palestinian politics...

On Sept. 8, the hopes pinned on the municipal elections collapsed in disarray amid Fatah-Hamas recrimination, and it became obvious that rather than heal the split, the electoral process has reinforced it. 

Europa Europa: Europe's Most Notorious Jew-Baiter?
Zsolt Bayer

Europa Europa: Europe's Most Notorious Jew-Baiter? Author: Ben Cohen Categories: Antisemitism, Europe    

Jew-baiting these days is a globally competitive field. The Middle East, Latin America and Asia could all put up credible candidates for the title of most notorious Jew-baiter. But if you ask me, it's in Europe, the continent where modern antisemitism crystallised, where you'll still find the most able and determined baiters.

Now, if I had to pick someone from that particular field, I'd have to conclude that it's a tie for first place.

From Hungary: step forward Zsolt Bayer, journalist, fascist apologist, a founder of the ruling Fidesz party, and a confidante of that country's Putinesque Prime Minister, Viktor Orban. From Great Britain: step forward Ken Livingstone, former Mayor of London, darling of Islamists both Shi'ite - Hezbollah - and Sunni - the Muslim Brotherhood - and literally obsessed with the claim that the Zionist movement collaborated with Adolf Hitler during the 1930s. 

Asia Watch: Causes and Effects Author: Michael Shannon Categories: Asia    

Rapidly consolidating power over key institutions of the state, and backed by very high approval ratings, Duterte is in a position to redirect the Philippines' foreign policy like none of his predecessors...

Although Manila released a statement of "regret", and Duterte insisted that his foul-mouthed remarks weren't personally directed at President Obama, uncertainty abounds as to the impact his rise to the presidency will have on one of Washington's strongest alliances in Asia.

The Decline of Wilayat Sinai
Wilayat Sinai: One of the most prominent and dangerous partners of ISIS

The Decline of Wilayat Sinai Author: Yoram Schweitzer Categories: Egypt, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism    

Wilayat Sinai, an organisation identified with Islamic State, has recently suffered a series of serious blows from the Egyptian Army. Most prominent among them was the air strike in early August 2016 that killed dozens of senior commanders, launched as part of a targeted campaign against terrorism in Egypt in general, and in Sinai in particular. The recent decline in the intensity of Wilayat Sinai's attacks against the Egyptian army, alongside a drop in its media activity and propaganda systems, may point to cumulative damage to the organisation and a decline in its strength.

Essay: Inside the Gilded Cage
Iranian Jews feel obliged to conspicuously declare their support for the regime

Essay: Inside the Gilded Cage Author: Annika Hernroth-Rothstein Categories: International Jewry, Iran    

The advantages the Jews experienced under the rule of the Shah - high socioeconomic status, strong ties to Israel and the United States - became liabilities in the age of the Ayatollahs. As in many other dark eras in Jewish history, the Jews were accused of stealing the country's treasures, and flyers were circulated throughout Teheran urging vengeance against them. There was mass confiscation of wealth along with rampant antisemitism and violence against the Jewish population, and as the streets filled up with hordes of people chanting "death to America" and "death to Israel", many Persian Jews fled to those very countries.

Some of the Jews who remained in Iran decided to embrace the revolution and the nation's new rulers...

Deconstruction Zone: Did the "colonial powers" create Israel? Author: Jonathan Adelman & Asaf Romirowsky Categories: Israel, Palestinians    

As the years between 1897 to 1948 have long faded into distant memory, a popular myth that Israel was created by global and colonial powers against the will of the region has gained traction in certain quarters.

Yet history shows that Israel was created overwhelmingly against the will of these major powers. When not opposing the creation of Israel, these powers were at best vaguely tolerant when it seemed inevitable.

The Money and the Message
Israeli acting National Security Adviser Jacob Nagel and US Undersecretary of State Tom Shannon sign the MOU

The Money and the Message Author: David Makovsky Categories: America, Israel    

On September 14, the United States and Israel signed a ten-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under which Washington will provide US$38 billion in military assistance over the fiscal years 2019-2028... enabling Israeli military planners to make even longer-term acquisitions and bolster their technological edge in a turbulent region...

The MOU is an important signal of American support for Israel's security in the years ahead - in fact, the United States has no comparable arrangement with any other country. The agreement is also a message to Israel's adversaries that Washington's support for its ally remains uniquely deep, despite recent policy disagreements.

The Cyber-War Era
Stuxnet caused havoc on Iranian nuclear centrifuges from 2008-2010

The Cyber-War Era Author: AIJAC Staff Categories: Australasia, International Security, Iran, Israel    

Last month's Melbourne International Film Festival featured Alex Gibney's documentary Zero Days, taking viewers deep into the world of cyber warfare through the story of Stuxnet - the infamous cyber weapon that was unleashed on the centrifuges at Iran's secret nuclear facility in late 2008. Reportedly designed by the US and Israel, Stuxnet appears to constitute the world's first cyber attack to inflict actual physical damage on an industrial system - the inadvertent unveiling of a "new tool in warfare" - though, as the film highlights, it is unlikely to be the last.

Scribblings: Article 49(6) and the Settlements
Claims of Israeli settlements’ illegality are not applied to comparable instances of “occupation” around the world

Scribblings: Article 49(6) and the Settlements Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Anti-Zionism, Israel, Palestinians    

Those who argue that any Jewish settlement in the West Bank is illegal have what seems a rather counter-intuitive interpretation - that is, the Occupying Power must not allow, must somehow stop, any of its citizens from residing in the occupied land, even if they want to, even if they own property there, even if, were the territory not occupied, it would be perfectly normal and proper for them to do so. Is this what the parties who drafted it meant, rather than prohibiting forced deportations of unwanted citizens or minorities?

Print edition
The Last Word: Politics as Unusual
Senator Hanson: Should not be met with “politics as usual”

The Last Word: Politics as Unusual Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism    

Senator Hanson did identify some real challenges we face in this country, such as the attraction of Australians to the ranks of Daesh (ISIS), issues of integration, employment, misogyny and sustainable urban development.

Yet there was nothing in her speech to indicate her concern was with these issues in a general sense - her focus was on Islam (which she portrayed as monolithic) and Muslims (who seem to be only acceptable, to her, if they completely dissociate from Islam).

After ISIS - a New ISIS

After ISIS - a New ISIS Author: Jacob Olidort Categories: Islamic Extremism, Terrorism    

In August, US President Barack Obama reassured the Pentagon that Islamic State will "inevitably be defeated". US Government officials, generals, and pundits have been debating what could happen when the group is defeated in Iraq and Syria and have been hard at work penning ISIS obituaries...

The Retreat of ISIS
ISIS faces attrition of its manpower and its command and control structures

The Retreat of ISIS Author: Col. Jacques Neriah Categories: Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Syria    

Two years ago, the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq's (ISIS) blitz assault across a swath of land as big as the United Kingdom led to the establishment of the self-proclaimed Caliphate and fragmented both Syria and Iraq. The recent defeats inflicted on Islamic radicals, however, have considerably shrunk the areas under ISIS control in both countries.

Fatah uses controversial Australian cartoon by Glen Le Lievre to promote antisemitic conspiracy theories

Fatah uses controversial Australian cartoon by Glen Le Lievre to promote antisemitic conspiracy theories Author: Glen Falkenstein Categories: Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism, Australasia, Israel, Palestinians, Updates    

Fatah's "Mobilization and Organization Commission" has re-publicised a controversial Australian cartoon drawn by Glen Le Lievre which originally appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald. Fatah's implication is that Jews are in control of acts of terrorism and violence around the world. The infamous cartoon of a Jewish person with a large nose, wearing a Jewish skullcap, seated in an armchair with an emblazoned Star of David, causing violence with a remote control device, was published on that Commission's website on Sept. 20 according to Palestinian Media Watch.

Editorial: A Meeting of Minds

Editorial: A Meeting of Minds Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Australasia, Israel, Palestinians    

During her recent visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority at the beginning of September, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop once again put her wisdom and diplomatic skill on display in navigating the diplomatic minefields of the simmering conflict, while at the same time deftly strengthening Australian-Israel ties.